The effect of electroacupuncture combined with donepezil on cognitive function in Alzheimer's disease patients: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.
ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease. Although some of the current treatments offer some symptomatic relief, this disease cannot be cured at present. Electroacupuncture may be effective for Alzheimer's disease for cognitive function, but the evidence for its effectiveness is still limited. The aim of this study is to evaluate the add-on effect of electroacupuncture to donepezil for improving the cognitive function of Alzheimer's disease.A total of 334 participants with Alzheimer's disease will be randomly assigned to either an electroacupuncture combined with donepezil group or a donepezil group with a ratio of 1:1. Participants in the electroacupuncture combined with donepezil group will receive electroacupuncture in addition to donepezil for 12 weeks and will keep taking donepezil for the following 24 weeks. Participants in the control group will take donepezil only. The primary outcome is the change from baseline in the total score of the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-cognition at week 12. A follow-up will be conducted 24 weeks after the treatment.We expect to verify the hypothesis that acupuncture in addition to donepezil is better than donepezil in improving the cognitive function of patients with Alzheimer's disease. This trial has a limitation that participant blinding is impossible.Clinical Trials.gov: ID: NCT02305836 . Registered on 13 November 2014.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Donepezil is widely used to treat Alzheimer's disease (AD), but detecting early response remains challenging for clinicians. Acetylcholine is known to directly modulate attention, particularly under high cognitive conditions, but no studies to date test whether measures of attention under high load can detect early effects of donepezil. We hypothesized that load-dependent attention tasks are sensitive to short-term treatment effects of donepezil, while global and other domain-specific cognitive measures are not. METHOD:This longitudinal, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot trial (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03073876) evaluated 23 participants newly diagnosed with AD initiating de novo donepezil treatment (5 mg). After baseline assessment, participants were randomized into Drug (n = 12) or Placebo (n = 11) groups, and retested after approximately 6 weeks. Cognitive assessment included: (a) attention tasks (Foreperiod Effect, Attentional Blink, and Covert Orienting tasks) measuring processing speed, top-down accuracy, orienting, intra-individual variability, and fatigue; (b) global measures (Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale, Mini-Mental Status Examination, Dementia Rating Scale); and (c) domain-specific measures (memory, language, visuospatial, and executive function). RESULTS:The Drug but not the Placebo group showed benefits of treatment at high-load measures by preserving top-down accuracy, improving intra-individual variability, and averting fatigue. In contrast, other global or cognitive domain-specific measures could not detect treatment effects over the same treatment interval. CONCLUSIONS:The pilot-study suggests that attention measures targeting accuracy, variability, and fatigue under high-load conditions could be sensitive to short-term cholinergic treatment. Given the central role of acetylcholine in attentional function, load-dependent attentional measures may be valuable cognitive markers of early treatment response.
Project description:Available cholinergic drugs for treating Alzheimer's disease (AD) provide modest symptomatic benefit. We hypothesized that co-administration of a peripheral anticholinergic to reduce dose-limiting adverse effects (AEs) would enable the safe/tolerable use of higher cholinesterase inhibitor doses and thus improve their antidementia efficacy. A modified single-blind, ascending-dose, phase IIa study of donepezil plus solifenacin (CPC-201) lasting 26 weeks was conducted in 41 patients with probable AD of moderate severity. Entry criteria included the use of donepezil at a dose of 10 mg/day during the preceding 3 months. The primary outcome measure was the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of donepezil achieved (to protocol limit of 40 mg/day) when administered with the anticholinergic solifenacin 15 mg/day. Secondary measures included assessments of cognitive and global function, as well as of AEs. The mean?±?SD donepezil MTD increased to 38?±?0.74 mg/day (median 40 mg/day; p?<?0.001); 88% of the study population safely attained this dose at the end of titration. Markedly reduced donepezil AE frequency, especially gastrointestinal, allowed this dose increase. There were no drug-related serious AEs or clinically significant laboratory abnormalities. At 26 weeks, Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale Cognitive Component scores in the efficacy evaluable population improved by 0.35?±?0.85 points over baseline (p?<?0.05), an estimated 2.5?±?0.84 points above 10 mg/day donepezil and 5.4?±?0.84 points above historic placebo (both p?<?0.05). Clinical Global Impression of Improvement scores improved by 0.94?±?0.20 to 3.1?±?0.20 points (p?<?0.001). The findings suggest that limiting donepezil AEs by co-administration of solifenacin allows the safe administration of substantially higher cholinesterase inhibitors doses that may augment cognitive and global benefits in patients with AD.
Project description:To determine whether the presence of depression predicts higher rate of progression to Alzheimer disease (AD) in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and whether donepezil treatment beneficially affect this relationship.The study sample was composed of 756 participants with aMCI from the 3-year, double-blind, placebo-controlled Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study drug trial of donepezil and vitamin E. Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was used to assess depressive symptoms at baseline and participants were followed either to the end of study or to the primary endpoint of progression to probable or possible AD.Cox proportional hazards regression, adjusted for age at baseline, gender, apolipoprotein genotype, and NYU paragraph delayed recall score, showed that higher BDI scores were associated with progression to AD (p = 0.03). The sample was stratified into depressed (BDI score > or =10; n = 208) and nondepressed (BDI <10; n = 548) groups. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that among the depressed subjects, the proportion progressing to AD was lower for the donepezil group than the combined vitamin E and placebo groups at 1.7 years (p = 0.023), at 2.2 years (p = 0.025), and remained marginally lower at 2.7 years (p = 0.070). The survival curves among the three treatment groups did not differ within the nondepressed participants.Results suggest that depression is predictive of progression from amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) to Alzheimer disease (AD) and treatment with donepezil delayed progression to AD among depressed subjects with aMCI. Donepezil appears to modulate the increased risk of AD conferred by the presence of depressive symptoms.
Project description:Previous studies have investigated associations between apolipoprotein E (APOE)-?4 allele status and acetylcholinesterase inhibitor treatment response in patients with Alzheimer's disease. The ability to draw definitive conclusions regarding the effect of APOE-?4 genotype on treatment response has been hindered by inconsistent results among studies and methodological limitations that restrict interpretation of study findings.To determine whether APOE-?4 carrier status influences the magnitude of change in 13-item Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-cog) score associated with acetylcholinesterase inhibitor treatment (i.e., donepezil).Analyses were performed using pooled data from the donepezil and placebo treatment arms of three consecutive, similarly designed, 12-week, multi-national, randomized clinical studies that enrolled patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease. Correlations between APOE-?4 carrier status and ADAS-cog scores were evaluated using analysis of covariance.No appreciable interaction between donepezil response and APOE-?4 carrier status or copy number was detected. Both carriers and non-carriers of APOE-?4 who received donepezil experienced significant improvements from baseline in ADAS-cog score versus placebo (p?< ?0.05). Change from baseline to final observation in the donepezil treatment group was - 2.95 for APOE-?4 carriers and - 4.09 for non-carriers (p?=?0.23). In contrast, non-carriers of APOE-?4 in the placebo treatment group exhibited a greater improvement from baseline versus carriers (-2.38 versus - 0.60, p?=?0.05).Within this population, APOE genotype had no statistically significant effect on cognitive response to donepezil treatment; however, APOE-?4 allele status was associated with a difference in the magnitude of the change in ADAS-cog of placebo-treated patients.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Depression and cognitive impairment are often comorbid in older adults, but optimal treatment strategies remain unclear. In a two-site study, the efficacy and safety of add-on donepezil versus placebo were compared in depressed patients with cognitive impairment receiving stable antidepressant treatment. METHODS:A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted in older adults with depression and cognitive impairment (https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01658228; NCT01658228). Patients received open-label antidepressant treatment for 16 weeks, initially with citalopram and then with venlafaxine, if needed, followed by random assignment to add-on donepezil 5-10?mg daily or placebo for another 62 weeks. Outcome measures were neuropsychological test performance (Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive subscale [ADAS-Cog] and Selective Reminding Test [SRT] total immediate recall) and instrumental activities of daily living (Functional Activities Questionnaire). RESULTS:Of 81 patients who signed informed consent, 79 patients completed the baseline evaluation. Open antidepressant treatment was associated with improvement in depression in 63.93% responders by week 16. In the randomized trial, there were no treatment group differences between donepezil and placebo on dementia conversion rates, ADAS-Cog, SRT total immediate recall, or FAQ. Neither baseline cognitive impairment severity nor apolipoprotein E e4 genotype influenced donepezil efficacy. Donepezil was associated with more adverse effects than placebo. CONCLUSION:The results do not support adjunctive off-label cholinesterase inhibitor treatment in patients with depression and cognitive impairment. The findings highlight the need to prioritize discovery of novel treatments for this highly prevalent population with comorbid illnesses.
Project description:Epileptic seizures are short episodes of abnormal brain electrical activity. Many survivors of severe epilepsy display delayed neuronal death and permanent cognitive impairment. Donepezil is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor and is an effective treatment agent for Alzheimer's disease. However, the role of donepezil in seizure-induced hippocampal injury remains untested. Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) was induced by intraperitoneal injection of pilocarpine (25 mg/kg). Donepezil (2.5 mg/kg/day) was administered by gavage in three different settings: (1) pretreatment for three days before the seizure; (2) for one week immediately after the seizure; and (3) for three weeks from three weeks after the seizure. We found that donepezil showed mixed effects on seizure-induced brain injury, which were dependent on the treatment schedule. Pretreatment with donepezil aggravated neuronal death, oxidative injury, and microglia activation. Early treatment with donepezil for one week showed neither adverse nor beneficial effects; however, a treatment duration of three weeks starting three weeks after the seizure showed a significant reduction in neuronal death, oxidative injury, and microglia activation. In conclusion, donepezil has therapeutic effects when injected for three weeks after seizure activity subsides. Therefore, the present study suggests that the therapeutic use of donepezil for epilepsy patients requires a well-conceived strategy for administration.
Project description:Low circulating brain derived neurotrophic factor may promote cognitive deterioration, but the effects of neurotrophic and combination drug therapies on serum brain derived neurotrophic factor were not previously investigated in Alzheimer's disease.We evaluated the effects of Cerebrolysin, donepezil, and the combined therapy on brain derived neurotrophic factor serum levels at week 16 (end of Cerebrolysin treatment) and week 28 (endpoint) in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease patients.Cerebrolysin, but not donepezil, increased serum brain derived neurotrophic factor at week 16, while the combination therapy enhanced it at both week 16 and study endpoint. Brain derived neurotrophic factor responses were significantly higher in the combination therapy group than in donepezil and Cerebrolysin groups at week 16 and week 28, respectively. Brain derived neurotrophic factor increases were greater in apolipoprotein E epsilon-4 allele carriers, and higher brain derived neurotrophic factor levels were associated with better cognitive improvements in apolipoprotein E epsilon-4 allele patients treated with Cerebrolysin and the combined therapy.Our results indicate a synergistic action of Cerebrolysin and donepezil to increase serum brain derived neurotrophic factor and delaying cognitive decline, particularly in Alzheimer's disease cases with apolipoprotein E epsilon-4 allele.
Project description:Donepezil is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor frequently prescribed for the treatment of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) though not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for this indication. In Alzheimer's disease, butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) activity increases with disease progression and may replace acetylcholinesterase function. The most frequent polymorphism of BChE is the K-variant, which is associated with lower acetylcholine-hydrolyzing activity. BChE-K polymorphism has been studied in Alzheimer's disease progression and donepezil therapy, and has led to contradictory results.To determine whether BChE-K genotype predicts response to donepezil in MCI.We examined the association between BChE-K genotype and changes in cognitive function using the data collected during the ADCS vitamin E/donepezil clinical trial in MCI.We found significant interactions between BChE-K genotype and the duration of donepezil treatment, with increased changes in MMSE and CDR-SB scores compared to the common allele in MCI subjects treated during the 3-year trial. We found faster MMSE decline and CDR-SB rise in BChE-K homozygous individuals treated with donepezil compared to the untreated. We observed similar interactions between BChE-K genotype and steeper changes in MMSE and CDR-SB scores in APOE4 carriers treated with donepezil compared to controls.BChE-K polymorphisms are associated with deleterious changes in cognitive decline in MCI patients treated with donepezil for 3 years. This indicates that BChE-K genotyping should be performed to help identify subsets of subjects at risk for donepezil therapy, like those carrying APOE4. BChE-K and APOE4 carriers should not be prescribed off-label donepezil therapy for MCI management.
Project description:Background:The health-related quality of life (HRQL) and fatigue of brain cancer survivors treated with donepezil or placebo for cognitive symptoms after radiation therapy were examined. Methods:One hundred ninety-eight patients who completed >30 Gy fractionated whole or partial brain irradiation at least 6 months prior to enrollment were randomized to either placebo or donepezil (5 mg for 6 weeks followed by 10 mg for 18 weeks) in a phase 3 trial. A neurocognitive battery, the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Brain (FACT-Br) and the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy (FACIT)-fatigue, was administered at baseline, 12 weeks, and 24 weeks. Results:At 12 weeks, donepezil resulted in improvements in only emotional functioning (P = .04), with no significant effects at week 24. Associations by level of baseline cognitive symptoms (above or below the median score of the baseline FACT-Br "additional concerns/brain" subscale), indicated that participants with more baseline symptoms who received donepezil versus placebo, showed improvements in social (P = .02) and emotional well-being (P = .038), other concerns/brain (P = .003) and the FACT-Br total score (P = .004) at 12 weeks, but not 24 weeks. However, participants with fewer baseline symptoms randomized to donepezil versus placebo reported lower functional well-being at both 12 (P = .015) and 24 weeks (P = .009), and greater fatigue (P = .02) at 24 weeks. Conclusions:The positive impact of donepezil on HRQL was greater in survivors reporting more baseline cognitive symptoms. Donepezil had significantly worse effects on fatigue and functional well-being among participants with fewer baseline symptoms. Future interventions with donepezil should target participants with more baseline cognitive complaints to achieve greater therapeutic impact and lessen potential side effects of treatment.
Project description:INTRODUCTION: Intraparenchymal injections of the immunotoxin 192-IgG-saporin into medial septum and nucleus basalis magnocellularis causes a selective depletion of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons. Thus, it represents a valid model to mimic a key component of the cognitive deficits associated with aging and dementia. Here we administered donepezil, a potent acetylcholinesterase inhibitor developed for treating Alzheimer's disease, 15 days before 192-IgG-saporin injection, and thus we examined donepezil effects on neurodegeneration and cognitive deficits. METHODS: Caspase-3 activity and cognitive performances of lesioned rats pre-treated with donepezil or saline were analyzed and compared to the outcomes obtained in pre-treated sham-lesioned rats. RESULTS: Cholinergic depletion increased hippocampal and neocortical caspase-3 activity and impaired working memory, spatial discrimination, social novelty preference, and ultrasonic vocalizations, without affecting anxiety levels and fear conditioning. In lesioned animals, donepezil pre-treatment reduced hippocampal and neocortical caspase-3 activity and improved working memory and spatial discrimination performances and partially rescued ultrasonic vocalizations, without preventing social novelty alterations. CONCLUSIONS: Present data indicate that donepezil pre-treatment exerts beneficial effects on behavioral deficits induced by cholinergic depletion, attenuating the concomitant hippocampal and neocortical neurodegeneration.